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We live in an age where sexual assault and domestic violence allegations are being taken more seriously than ever before. And for the true victims of these crimes, this comes as a welcome relief. Sadly however, there are those that would take advantage of the seriousness of such allegations and falsely use them to their own benefit.
Being falsely accused of domestic violence – whether an assault or sexual assault – is common in high conflict divorce cases. These allegations are often used to gain an advantage in family court proceedings particularly when access and custody is an issue. These types of charges are extremely traumatic and can impact someone’s life forever. Since law enforcement will naturally want to err on the side of protecting the complainant, and because of mandatory charging policies, police can make an arrest with very little evidence. If you have found yourself in this situation, chances are that the authorities simply showed up at your home, not asked for your side of the situation, arrested and detained you. You likely felt embarrassed, angry and afraid.
Having serious legal help in this situation is of the utmost importance. You need a law firm who had extensive experience in such matters and knows how to uncover fabricated allegations.
If you have been charged with domestic assault, there are a number of possible strategies that can be used in your defence:
Even though the police do not require a lot of evidence to make an arrest in these cases, the prosecuting counsel still must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are in fact guilty. If the defence can show that the evidence is insufficient, unreliable and not credible chances are with experienced counsel at your side, you will be found not-guilty.
In order to undermine and attack the prosecution evidence, there are a myriad of options for the lawyers to conduct a defence investigation, and you are a central component. In addition, experienced counsel will work with other experts to uncover evidence, such as tech experts, or your family lawyer, medical or psychiatric evidence, etc. There can be many sources of evidence that can be utilized by your lawyer to attack the prosecution case and protect you.
Finally, if there was indeed violence, you may be able to make a claim of self-defence if your actions were in response to a physical threat or you were not the one who initiated the assault. The response has to be proportionate to that threat, but it is not an exact measurement and self defence can and often is a viable defence.
Cases of sexual assault and domestic violence/assault are often extremely emotional, but fortunately the verdict of guilty or not-guilty is not decided on mere emotion. If you have been accused of these offenses, it is important to get the best legal counsel you can, and as quickly as possible. The sooner you and your legal team start gathering evidence and building your defence, the better your chances are of receiving a not-guilty verdict.
If you need help or require insights, contact Joseph Neuberger at Neuberger & Partners LLP today.